John Kerry (born December 11, 1943) has been Secretary of State a little more than a month. I believe he’s a Perfectionist
type because of his history of fervently standing up for his antiwar ideals, ecology, women’s rights, and other issues. His demeanor—the deliberateness and seriousness with which he speaks and debates—also plays a part in typing him.
Kerry was the first Vietnam veteran to testify before Congress in 1971 against the Vietnam war. He spoke for nearly two hours with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the Fulbright Hearings. As a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve, he appeared before a Senate committee hearing on proposals relating to ending the war.
The day after this testimony, in order to dramatize their opposition to the war, Kerry participated in a demonstration with thousands of other veterans in which many of them threw their medals and ribbons over a fence erected at the front steps of the Capitol building. For more than two hours, almost 1000 angry veterans tossed their medals, ribbons, hats, jackets, and military papers over the fence. Each veteran gave his or her name, hometown, branch of service and a statement. Kerry threw some of his decorations as well as some given to him by other veterans to throw. As Kerry threw his decorations over the fence, he said: "I'm not doing this for any violent reasons, but for peace and justice, and to try and make this country wake up once and for all.”
Kerry subsequently joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and the Navy made two requests to court martial him over his antiwar activity, which were declined. He also appeared on Meet the Press and the Dick Cavett show.
Kerry then went to law school at Boston College and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1976. He became a prosecutor and in 1977 was promoted him to First Assistant District Attorney. In 1979, he resigned to set up a private law firm. And, although his private law practice was a success, Kerry was still interested in public office. He ran for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts and won a narrow victory in the 1982 Democratic primary. The ticket, with Michael Dukakis as the gubernatorial candidate, won the general election without difficulty.
Kerry's interest in environmental protection led him to become involved in the issue of acid rain. His work contributed to a National Governors Association resolution in 1984 that was a precursor to the 1990 amendments to the federal Clean Air Act. During his campaign, Kerry had argued that nuclear evacuation planning was "a sham intended to deceive Americans into believing they could survive a nuclear war."
When Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas announced in 1984 that he would be stepping down for health reasons, Kerry decided to run for his seat. He was elected to the Senate despite a nationwide landslide for the re-election of Republican president Ronald Reagan. He remained a senator until 2013, having run for president with John Edwards his running mate against George Bush in 2004.
In December, President Obama nominated Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and he was sworn in February first. This month he began a 9-country tour, including talks in Egypt to try to help their economy.
• Much of this article was based on information from Wikipedia.
• In Northern California, Elizabeth will give a talk on THE ENNEAGRAM OF DEATH Memorial Day weekend (May 25) at East West Bookstore, 324 Castro Street, in Mountain View.
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